By Nick Stanley
Jonathan Wise is. Very.
(…wise, in case anyone didn’t get it).
He’s also very brave. He told us the story of his career. He told us how he came to realise his life’s work had been, very successfully, spinning the cogs of a machine that’s killing the planet. And killing us with it.
He also told us that, having been in the heart of the beast, he had resolved not to bring life into the world it’s creating. He doesn’t believe the future is one worth living.
His talk simultaneously filled the room with existential fear and belief that we can be the saviours. We are equipped with the morals, the desire and, above all, the opportunity to contribute to a global societal paradigm shift. Or so he says.
How’s that for before breakfast on a Thursday morning…
He was swamped by students at the end of his talk, wide-eyed with trepidation, awe and hope. And armed with ideas.
A lot of what we say at school starts with ‘what if?’ It’s a great place to start, so…
What if we could create a system where the currency that underpins all transactions was not monetary? What if it was not financial capital, but social capital, that we spent and earned?
The person who puts most into society is recompensed with the greatest purchasing power. Consumerism thrives, and the world with it.
If you are someone who works selflessly for others, or whose toils lead to clean energy production, or whose entrepreneurial nous serves the prevention of disease then you, my friend, get a big red Ferrari (or whatever you choose to spend your social capital on). You’re rich, because you’ve enriched the world.
On the contrary, if you are a societal leech who pollutes our planet or our minds then you, muggins, get nada.
In this, admittedly, utopian vision of the world it is impossible to take out more than you give. You either leave the world as you found it, or better. If you’re driven by material possession then great, you’ll have to help society or the environment enough to earn your next purchase.
How on earth you quantify the value people put into the system and what that allows them to take out is miles beyond my capacity. But IF (big if) it were in some way possible, it’d work. I think.
Are you busy, Elon?
Call me. xoxo